Speculation rife over threats at Oscar's trial

2014-10-13 19:37
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Johannesburg - The heightened security ahead of the sentencing procedures in the Oscar Pistorius case on Monday could have been because of security threats, the Institute for Security Studies said.

"The police in these kinds of high-profile cases... do a threat assessment, which is not a once-off thing," said senior researcher Johan Burger.

"Either they received information of threats or it's quite possible that in view of the fact, against the expectation of many, he was not convicted of murder [but] was convicted of a much lesser charge, it's possible that someone out there might have thought 'this is not fair' and they possibly threatened him."

Burger said this was just speculation.

Other reasons could have been that the court did an assessment and decided to improve security.

"There may be something else we may not know about that caused them to upgrade security."

Security guards earlier on Monday wheeled out a bag scanner and a walk-through metal detector to the entrance of the court. This was the first time the devices were placed at the courtroom.

Heightened security

The athlete arrived at court on Monday morning and was escorted by a group of police wearing bulletproof jackets.

The National Prosecuting Authority did not know the reasons for the heightened security.

"The head of security at court made that decision," spokesperson Nathi Mncube said.

"The NPA was not informed of the reasons."

Pistorius was convicted of culpable homicide on 12 September for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.

Judge Thokozile Masipa found him not guilty of murdering Steenkamp.

Sentencing procedures in his case started on Monday and were expected to continue until Thursday.


Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  thokozile masipa  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial

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